In an historic first, two schools from the GPS Association of Queensland played out a curtain-raiser fixture before the Mitsubishi Estate Rugby Championship Test between the Qantas Wallabies and Argentina at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane today.
St.Joseph's Nudgee College proved too good for a spirited Brisbane State High School in perfect conditions at the famous venue, running out 62-21 winners in front of an army of vocal supporters from both schools.
While the match gave potential future Wallabies stars a taste of the game’s biggest stage while proudly representing their schools, the fixture also served as a key fundraiser for spinal care and injury rehabilitation causes.
Rugby Australia, in partnership with the GPS Association of Queensland, has donated $50,000 from its total gate takings from the Test match to support specific institutions and programs identified by the GPS Association after four schoolboy Rugby players suffered serious injuries in the state during 2018.
The $50,000 donation will be split between the Princess Alexandra Hospital Spinal Care Unit, the Lady Cilento Rehabilitation Ward, ParaStartProgram, and the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association.
Rugby Australia Deputy Chairman, Brett Robinson said: “Last year was a very difficult year for the Queensland GPS community and the families of the four young boys who sustained those unfortunate injuries. Rugby Australia has worked with the Association to identify some of the key institutions that provide support for people who sustain spinal injuries to receive this funding.
“The schoolboys fixture is a fantastic addition to our Wallabies Game Day and the donation is a way of showing our support for the schools that were involved today, and mainly to support some very important causes in spinal injury treatment.”
Dr Michael Carroll, Chairman of the Queensland GPS Association Management Committee, said: "The 2018 and now the 2019 rugby seasons have had a significant focus around the spinal related injuries of the 2018 season and the work to prepare our players for the 2019 season.
"By nominating these four groups we can demonstrate our appreciation of the care they provided to our players and provide some financial support so that these organisations can continue to provide this important care and support for other spinal injury victims, not just from rugby or from GPS schools."